For years, if you wanted to get Android running on the biggest screen in your home, the Nvidia Shield TV was your best option. Cheaper devices like last year's Chromecast and Walmart's recent Onn streaming box are finally available on the market, but the Shield has kept some of the exclusive benefits that helped make it a fan favorite. If you've been waiting for an update to Android 10, you'll want to stop holding your breath — though that doesn't mean the Shield's future is uncertain.
Google Photos isn't available on Android TV, and for good reason. As long as you can cast any photo or video from your phone to your TV, you don't really need the full app to be installed on the latter. However, there are a few reasons why you might want to get the proper Photos app installed and for that, we have this tutorial. It's a very convoluted process, especially if you own a Chromecast with Google TV (but much less so if you own an NVIDIA Shield), and you're better off not wasting your time with it unless you really need it.
Google is an advertising company. Most of its products make money either by serving up ads, or by collecting data to make those ads more effective. But throwing ads into a product that people pay actual money for is something that they tend to feel pretty passionate about — just ask Samsung. So when Google started serving up advertisements via the Android TV Home interface, it didn't take a genius to guess what would happen next.
If you've owned a Chromecast with Google TV since last fall's launch, your long wait for Stadia is nearly over. Despite having been on the market for nearly a year and a half now, Stadia still isn't officially playable on Android TV — but that's changing, and soon. Earlier this month, Google announced that there'd be an official Stadia client up and running on Android TV on June 23rd, but if you're really impatient, you can get the app pre-installed on your device right now.
Shield TV devices are widely regarded as some of the best Android TV boxes money can buy. Nvidia's historically been great about software support, too, providing updates for years. A new one is landing today: Shield TV is getting a revamped home screen that looks a bit like the Chromecast with Google TV's.
Change is an inevitability in life, and unfortunately for those of us who invest in various product ecosystems, change ultimately means having to upgrade. Right now, Samsung is transitioning to a next-gen platform for its SmartThings smart home system. And while newer devices are coming along for the ride, some older components are going to need to be replaced before they stop working. Samsung's been sharing news of this transition with owners of these devices, including the SmartThings Link USB dongle that lets it integrate with the Nvidia Shield, as well as the original SmartThings Hub.
Although Android TV isn't as popular as Roku or Amazon's Fire TV, access to the Play Store makes it one of the best ways to watch your favorite movies and shows. Up until now, it's been missing a major service from its library, but that all changes starting today. Apple TV is now available on Android TV devices, including the Nvidia Shield TV.
If you haven't received it already, expect a new update on your Nvidia Shield device in the form of SHIELD Experience 8.2.3. Although it may not be what you're waiting for, it does bring in a few notable developments apart from the regular bug fixes.
One of the NVIDIA SHIELD's most impressive capabilities is running a Plex media server, something that isn't usually possible on a streaming set-top box. But some users have had issues with it for the last couple of months, complaining that a lack of updates has broken their home-built video streaming server. There's a straightforward solution: update the Plex server app on the Play Store, since the server won't update itself automatically.